Looking Back at 25 Years of Mega Man: Chris Carter

ChrisCarterAvatarTime yet again to saunter back down the 25 year long road that has been Mega Man's life. And actually, this is our last in the series - at least for now! We may still get more fond remembrances from others in a less regular fashion. But ending our week long stretch is once again a Destructoid writer! Man those guys really love Mega Man! Chris Carter is an editor for Destructoid, and enjoyed our ongoing series so much he wanted to be a part of it too! He is also taking on the task of playing every Mega Man game ever made, and to that we wish him luck - 'cause there's kind of a lot. Anyway, we really hope you've enjoyed our week long segment. When you've come so far in being a fan, it's good to look back and see what brought you here. And now we'll leave it to Chris!

What are some notable memories you've had getting into, and otherwise playing Mega Man? Alternatively, what ways has Mega Man factored into your work?

Funnily enough, my mother was the one who got me into Mega Man, starting with the very first game on the NES. Remember that cover that everyone despises? The entire reason why she picked it up for me was because she thought the cover looked cool (we were wrong this whole time!). From the minute I booted it up and started Cut Man's stage first, the rest was history. From then on, I wouldn't miss a Mega Man release again outside of a few in the Battle Network and Star Force series.

As for how it has factored into my work, my very first foray into game writing was in Middle School, with a fan site located at www.megamanassault.com. I started it with a friend who also loved Mega Man, and it obtained a decent amount of hits for a website started by two kids who just learned HTML. I provided regular news content and boss strategies for every single Robot Master in Mega Man 1~X4 (which was the latest release at the time). After a few years, our domain service went out of business, and deleted all of our content. Sadly, I wasn't the IT professional I am today, and as two middle school kids, we hadn't learned the value of backing up digital content.

Still, my love for Mega Man lived on, as did my burning desire to play every challenging platformer I could get my hands on. You can see my today clamoring for a review of nearly every platformer known to man, and a lot of that comes from my insatiable desire for yet another game as challenging as Mega Man.

What is your sentiment on the current standing of Mega Man, and what do you want to see for the future?

That's a pretty tough question!

I feel like Capcom has really tried in the past. People clamor for an open world "Metroidvania" style Mega Man, but they tried that with Mega Man ZX, twice -- it just didn't pan out. Others want a return to retro roots, and Mega Man 10 kind of over-saturated the micro-market despite that demand. There are also fans that want something else a bit more updated with the old school feel, but spurn Mega Man 8 every chance they get.

As for myself, I think attacking Mega Man with a two-fold plan would be Capcom's best bet. In my opinion, Street Fighter X Mega Man was an excellent homage to the Classic series. If Capcom ported that to XBLA and PSN (and the Wii U eShop) after smoothing some of the rough edges out, it could pan out really well for them. Instead of trying too hard to emulate the old series and ending up with the fairly soulless 10, Capcom could oversee development of more interesting and unique prospects like SFXMM every so often. Testing the waters for Mega Man Maverick Hunter X2 and Powered Up 2 couldn't hurt either.

On the second front, do something drastic. Hard Corps: Uprising for the PSN and XBLA, in my opinion, is the perfect way to handle an updated, yet oldschool 2D platformer. If Capcom gave the reigns to a talented developer like WayForward, you could have a franchise on your hands (or Arc System Works, as they did a bang up job on Hard Corps!). Finally tying Mega Man Classic and the X series is an obvious idea, or reboot the series canon entirely (like Maverick Hunter X tried to do). Something drastic like an 8-bit four player coop Mega Man game on XBLA/PSN/eShop could work out very well, especially if it had a versus mode (I'm still hoping for another Mega Man 7 fighting game Easter egg).

Either way, I'm excited to see what the future can bring for Mega Man, even if it's been a bit bleak as of late. After all this, who knows? Maybe we'll see a resurgence of Mega Man Legends 3. A man can dream!

What is your all time favorite Mega Man game (don't worry if you can't narrow it down to just one!).

Historically, I've always been a "Mega Man 3 over 2" kind of guy. I feel like while Mega Man 2 is of course a high point for the series, there are so many more interesting characterizations that make the series truly unique in Mega Man 3. For instance, the inclusion of Rush over the generic "transport" 1, 2, and 3 items makes it decidedly more "Mega Man" in nature.

Proto Man's debut certainly helps cement the series as a more colorful franchise as well, as it slowly but surely builds its repertoire of characters that would become iconic for years to come. I also prefer smaller details, like the Wily 3 final fight over the alien encounter in 2, and much more. I might also be biased because Snake Man is one of my all time favorite Masters, and his theme gives me goosebumps.

Objectively, I think 9 is close to perfect. On my first playthrough, I didn't really soak in all of the nuances the game had to offer. It wasn't until my hundreds of time trial runs that I really learned to appreciate how amazing the level design really was. There's not much I can say about 9 that hasn't' been said many times over, but if you haven't played Mega Man yet, that's a great starting point!